Update: Hockey Canada has released a statement saying Andrea Skinner has resigned from her duties as director and interim chair of the board of directors effective immediately.
“As a Board, we wish Andrea well and would like to thank her for her service to Hockey Canada,” Hockey Canada said.
“We will continue to meet over the weekend to discuss other changes and reforms to the organization.”
Andrea Skinner, the interim chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors, has tendered her resignation, according to Denis Coderre and confirmed by TSN’s Rick Westhead.
“Upon reflection, it is clear to me from recent events that it no longer makes sense for me to continue to volunteer my time as interim chair or as a director of the organization,” Skinner reportedly said in a statement.
This comes after regional hockey federations said they will withhold $3 player assessment fees from Hockey Canada, along with sponsors pausing or ending support of the national hockey governing body.
Politicians, sponsors, Hockey Quebec and Hockey Nova Scotia denounced Hockey Canada’s senior leadership for its handling of past sexual assault allegations and are seeking change at the highest level. Hockey New Brunswick, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador and the Ontario Hockey Federation have also announced they don’t want Hockey Canada to receive the player assessment fees – Hockey NB and Hockey NL are withholding the fees, and the OHF is requesting the fees aren’t taken.
Hockey Canada has acknowledged a National Equity Fund made up of players’ registration fees went towards settling claims regarding sexual assault. It has since said the fund will no longer be used to settle sexual assault claims.
Skinner was appointed as interim chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors in August after the former chair, Michael Brind’Amour, resigned.
Both Skinner and Brind’Amour testified at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage hearing on Tuesday. Skinner defended Hockey Canada’s senior leadership, saying she would give CEO Scott Smith an A grade for his performance given the circumstances.
Skinner also said that removing the current leaders of Hockey Canada would have a negative effect on youth hockey.
“Will the lights stay on at the rink?” Skinner told the committee on Tuesday. “I don’t know. We can’t predict that. To me, it’s not a risk worth taking.”
Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday it is “mind boggling” that Canada would continue to “dig in its heals” by defending its reputation and leaders.
Sport minister Pascale St-Onge has called for a change in senior leadership multiple times since she testified at the heritage committee in late July. Most recently, she told reporters on Friday, “I hope that they understand the message and leave before they burn it to the ground.”
- Interim Chair Andrea Skinner Submits Resignation From Hockey Canada: Reports
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